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More Change in Business

It seems we all have a propensity to declare the most recent events as unprecedented and use them to rationalize our need to make changes in our business.

For example, we could say that that the COVID 19 pandemic was a unique circumstance that provides the opportunity to make sweeping changes in our business model.  And the changes need to be significant because they’re for the survival of our businesses.

While this statement is true, it is not unique.

More Changes in Business = No Surprise

Every year, we have many opportunities or crises that drive the necessity for us to make changes in our businesses.  This year the changes were caused by the coronavirus, the economic downturn, the rapid return of the economy, the 2020 racial issues, or the deterioration of the US/China relations.

But every year provided similar opportunities for making changes in our businesses.  Some years are just more significant and momentous than others.

Always Making Change

As business leaders and entrepreneurs, we need always to be driving change in our business.

To see our business as a stagnant model is to fail.  Change is the one constant we can count on.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”

 — Lao Tzu

Some of the factors driving our need always to be changing are:

  • The ever-changing world of technology. Most of our changes result from the adoption of new technology. While it can be disruptive at first, ultimately the change tends to increase productivity and improve service delivery.
  • Customer needs are constantly evolving. As the world evolves, customer needs change and grow, creating new demand for new types of products and services.
  • The changing global economy. A strong economy and increasing demand for products and services will mean that companies must consider expansion that might involve the addition of staff and new facilities.
  • Change equates to growth opportunities. Change allows employees to learn new skills, explore new opportunities, and exercise their creativity in ways that ultimately benefit the organization.
  • Challenging the status quo. Organizations benefit from change that results in new ways of looking at customer needs, new ways of delivering customer service, new ways of strengthening customer interactions, and new products that might attract new markets.

Manage Change

Several ways for business leaders and entrepreneurs to manage the constantly changing work environment are:

  1. Discuss.  Discuss change ideas with company managers before implementing any new policies. Be sure to emphasize the need for the change to company managers so that they will understand why the change is vital for the company.
  2. Analyze.  Analyze the effects of change comprehensively before deciding to pursue it. Remember that implementing change all at once can cause confusion and frustrate employees
  3. Document.  Put your ideas down on paper, and get input from managers within the company.
  4. Buy-In. Discuss the final change schedule with your top executives and determine how to implement changes with the least amount of disruption.
  5. Training.  Begin training employees on the change as early as possible.
  6. Encouragement.  Encourage employees to ask questions about the change, how it will affect the company, and how it will affect their job by designating a team to handle questions about the change.

The Bible

The Bible is a story of change.

One of the many stories is of Abraham, who is the father of our faith.  Genesis12:1-3 reads.

 Now the Lord said to Abram,
“Go forth from your country,
And from your relatives
And from your father’s house,
To the land which I will show you;
And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you,
And make your name great;
And so you shall be a blessing;
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Note the change that Abraham had to make—leave his country and move to a foreign land yet to be determined. Consider the pain involved in this change.

But also look at the blessings associated with this change.

  • His name and family would be great.
  • God would give him many descendants.
  • The world would be blessed through him.

God is with us in all our changes.  He knows it is painful, but he also knows the reward of following Him is so much greater than avoiding making the changes, or of making changes that He is not part of.

Know that your business will continually be experiencing change.  Be prepared for the change, accept the change, and let God be part of the change.